When a video appeared on YouTube with the title of “2015 World Synchro Champs SP Team Canada,” you could be forgiven for not being interested. Yet it snared nearly 180,000 views for featuring something that’s been called “the most exciting sport you’ve never heard of.” So what was the clip all about and what is this exciting but unknown sport?
In synchronized skating, a company of figure skaters – which might number up to 16 – joins up to compete. As you might guess from the name of the sport, they synchronize their movements. But they achieve that synchronization while gliding across the ice rapidly, with their feet astonishing the eye with complicated figures.
Figure skating itself is a sport with a distinguished history. People have probably been sliding across ice on skates for over four millennia. Research has revealed that skating probably began in the south of Finland. Skaters at first used bone that had been made flat yet sharp – and they glided rather than skated.